State high school swim meets will take place on Friday

mobrien@dailypress.com

The area high school tournament picture is moving into focus as slowly as the ice is melting from Monday’s snowstorm. But at least one big piece of the puzzle fell into place, thanks to some ingenuity by the Virginia High School League.

The VHSL announced Wednesday that the Group 4A state swimming and diving meet, which was scheduled for Thursday, will be held Friday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. To accommodate the 4A schools, the league will hold the 4A and 3A state meets simultaneously Friday in different pools at the venue.

The VHSL had sent out a survey to 4A schools asking about the availability of swim teams to compete Thursday or Sunday. But with Peninsula-area schools out for the third consecutive day Wednesday because of icy roads, travel to the Roanoke area for Bay Rivers schools such as Jamestown and Grafton — the 4A meet favorites — was not possible.

Area schools have been called off on the Peninsula for Thursday as well, but York High athletic director John Ashley said York County Schools will allow York, Grafton and Tabb to procure a charter for travel Thursday to the state meet. York County Schools normally do not allow athletic travel when classes are canceled.

“We had to get special permission to get the charter,” Ashley said. “We would’ve hated to see the kids left out of their state meets.”

Lafayette athletic director Dan Barner said the Rams’ wrestlers and swimmers will share a charter bus with Warhill’s for travel to the 3A state championships.

Plans for basketball tournaments involving Bay Rivers District schools remain unsettled.

Warhill athletic director Dan Mullen said that the Conference 25 boys and girls tournaments are in limbo because the 3A East Region tournament is scheduled to begin Monday. He said that unless three of the four region chairpersons agree to postpone the start of the regional tournament, some or all of the Conference 25 tournament — which includes Lafayette, Poquoson, New Kent Warhill and York — could be canceled.

“We’re in a holding pattern,” Mullen said.

As with Conference 25, Conference 19 basketball tournaments, which include BRD schools Grafton, Jamestown, Smithfield and Tabb, are in a holding pattern as well with classes canceled Thursday.

With another day of school cancellations, the Monitor-Merrimac, PenSouth and Ironclad conference tournaments have set Friday as their best-case scenario date. With, of course, full knowledge that could change yet again.

The Ironclad’s latest plan is to play the girls first round Friday, the boys semifinals Saturday, the girls semifinals Monday and both championship games Tuesday. The 4A South regional tournament is scheduled to start Feb. 27.

The M&M moved its first-round games to Friday. That remains the plan, with dates for the semifinals and finals to be determined later. The 6A South tournament is set for Feb. 26.

The PenSouth has not announced its latest schedule. The conference is considering several opinions, including playing the boys and girls semifinals at home sites rather than having four at Hickory High in Chesapeake. That would allow the PenSouth to wrap up its tournament in two days instead of three.

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UPDATED AT 5:06 P.M.: The Ironclad’s Conference's latest plan for its basketball tournaments is to play the girls first round Friday, the boys semifinals Saturday, the girls semifinals Monday and both championship games Tuesday.

The 4A South regional tournament is scheduled to start Friday, Feb. 27.

The M&M had already moved its first-round games to Friday. That remains the plan, with the semifinals and finals to be a bridge that will be crossed later. The 6A South regional is scheduled to begin Feb. 26.

The PenSouth girls semifinals, which had been rescheduled for Thursday night, are off again. There is no word yet of a new date.

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Friday morning update: The Virginia High School League has moved the Group 4A state swim meet from Thursday to Friday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Area schools in the 4A meet include Jamestown's girls and Grafton's boys, the defending champions, along with Tabb and Smithfield.

The move was made because of previous snow throughout the state and impending bad weather in parts of the state on Wednesday.

The Group 3A meet is still being held on Friday. According to the VHSL, the meets will be held in different parts of the aquatic center and will not be merged into one.

The news release from the VHSL said additional inclement weather is expected in the Christiansburg area on Saturday. If that happens, the Group 2A state meet will be moved from Saturday to Sunday.

Because of the weather, York County swimmers from Grafton, Tabb and York will travel to the state meets together on a charter bus. They'll leave from Grafton at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday.

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Original story

Jamestown and Grafton are prime contenders to win Group 4A state swimming and diving meet team championships. When the Eagles’ girls and Clippers’ boys will be heading to Christiansburg to defend the titles they won a year ago is in limbo because of the snowstorm Monday and Tuesday.

The 4A state meet is scheduled for Thursday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, and Grafton, among others, had made hotel reservations in the area to be there for it. But with school canceled in York County because of snow, Grafton and Tabb will not be allowed to travel on Wednesday even if the meet is held Thursday.

That is not a given. The Virginia High School League surveyed 4A schools via email Tuesday to ascertain whether they could travel to the meet for Thursday or if the meet would have to be postponed to Sunday.

Sunday would be the makeup date because the 3A state meet is scheduled for the Christiansburg Aquatic Center on Friday, with the 1A and 2A meets set for that venue Saturday. The VHSL inquired whether or not 4A participants would be allowed to travel for the Thursday morning start time, whether they would be allowed to travel for a later start time Thursday and whether they would be allowed to participate if the meet is postponed to Sunday.

“York County Schools have told us we could participate on Sunday and they’ve told us that school is out on Wednesday,” Tabb athletic director Susan Wiker said Tuesday afternoon. “That’s all we know right now.”

Asked if York County Schools would allow their teams to travel Wednesday if the VHSL decides to conduct the meet Thursday, Wiker and Grafton athletic director Laura Sutton said “no.” Mike McCall of the VHSL said a decision on the date and time for the 4A state meet will be announced no later than 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

More BRD

Meanwhile, several Bay Rivers District athletic directors said no decisions have been made on when the Conference 19, 25 and 33 basketball tournaments will begin. The C-19 tournament was scheduled to begin Monday and the 25 and 33 tournaments Tuesday.

With schools out Wednesday, none will start earlier than Thursday. Poquoson athletic director Ken Bennett said there is discussion among athletic directors that if the C-25 tournament starts later than Thursday, a round could be eliminated. ...

Bruton athletic director Richard Onesty said the 2A East Region indoor track and field meet is canceled.

Peninsula District

In the Monitor-Merrimac boys and girls basketball tournaments, which are to be played at home sites, the first round is now scheduled for Friday night. The semifinals and finals will be scheduled once the weather and forecast become more clear.

If necessary, An option would be canceling the championship games if each No. 1 seed — the Oscar Smith boys and Bethel girls — reaches the final. The Tigers and Bruins have clinched the M&M’s Nos. 1, and if they make the championship game, the runner-up would be No. 2 regardless.

The 6A South regional tournament is scheduled to begin next Thursday.

In the PenSouth tournament at Hickory, the girls semifinals have been moved to Thursday, with the boys playing Friday. The championship games are now set for Saturday afternoon(time TBA).

The 5A South regionals are set to begin Wednesday.

In the Ironclad at King’s Fork, the girls first round will be Thursday and the semifinals Saturday. The boys semis are set for Friday. The championship doubleheader will be Monday.

The 4A South tournament is scheduled to start Tuesday.

Also, the 4A South indoor track meet, which was scheduled for Wednesday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex, has been postponed to Monday, Feb. 23. It will be a one-day meet.

More hoops

The Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools rescheduled its quarterfinals to Thursday. All four semifinals (boys and girls) will be played Friday at Hampton Roads Academy. The championship games still are scheduled for Saturday, with the girls at 4 p.m. and the boys at 6.

Staff writers Dave Johnson and Lynn Burke contributed to this report. O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963.

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